Work Authorizations for Students here on an Educational Visa
When you apply for an educational visa the State Department requires that you present a budget which demonstrates how you will be able to while you are engaging in a course of study. This is because student visa holders are expected to be full time students who will return to their home countries after their studies are finished and the US Government doesn’t want these visa holders to be distracted from their studies or to be taking jobs from workers here in the United States. Student visa holders can work on campus, in a work study program or in internships provided or required by their course of study but are generally not allowed to take outside work to support themselves or their family.
However sometimes events can occur which make your original budget unworkable. This can be everything from a scholarship being discontinued or revoked, to a sudden financial loss or even an unexpected illness or family obligation. These events can put the student visa holder in a bind.
Fortunately the US government recognizes this possibility and allows the holder of an F-1 student visa to apply for a temporary work authorization in cases of unexpected financial hardship. If you can show severe and unexpected economic hardship then you can obtain a work authorization which will allow you to work twenty hours a week during the academic year and full time during holidays or breaks. You must still maintain a full course of study and good academic standing while working and you cannot apply for this benefit during your first year of study. These restrictions make this benifit not appropriate for everyone but this limited work authorization can be the difference between being able to finish a course of study and having to give up and return to your home country.
If you are here on a student visa and you are facing an unexpected financial problem then this benefit may be the solution that you need to successfully continue your studies. If you are interested in attempting to obtain a temporary work authorization feel free to contact our offices to discuss if this benefit would fit your needs.